25 January 2024 An oval light blue shape. In the central part, there is a smaller a red object, from which stem many highly branched smaller canals that cover a significant part of the blue surface. The whole sponge image is in placed in a circle. The background around the circle is blue-green.

Ancient ‘relaxant-inflammatory’ response gets sponges moving

Science Sponges lack muscles and neurons. Yet, they make coordinated movements. Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg have discovered that sponge movement is controlled by an ancient ‘relaxant-inflammatory’ response that is also present in vertebrate blood vessels. The findings shed light on sponge physiology…



8 September 2021 Illustration of two halves of a pill, which releases chemical molecules that are taken up by gut bacteria in the vicinity.

Common medications accumulate in gut bacteria

Science A new collaborative study led by EMBL group leaders Kiran Patil, Nassos Typas, and Peer Bork has found that common medications accumulate in human gut bacteria. This process reduces drug effectiveness and affects the metabolism of common gut microbes, thereby altering the gut microbiome.



16 February 2021 Microscopy images of coronavirus-infected cells in blue and red, arranged on a clockface. Illustrations of virus particles.

Finding coronavirus’s helper proteins

Science A team of EMBL scientists and colleagues have analysed how the novel coronavirus affects proteins in human cells. They identified several human proteins as potential drug targets to prevent viral replication.



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